Apple news followers will recall a report last week that Apple has recently purchased Poly9, a Quebec based company that makes a Google Earth-like app. If you missed this you can get updated quickly with this AppleInsider post.

Why would we here at FITC care about this acquisition, other than that it seems Apple is looking for ways to severe ties with Google's mapping technology? Well after looking at one of Poly9's javascript api demos and then doing a little view source sleuthing you'll see that Poly9's app is in fact largely based on a swf – one with a Flex loader nonetheless.

The demo can be found here:

Direct link to the javascript file:

Direct link to the swf:

What's the significance of this? It's hard to say what exactly Apple's interest in Poly9 is. I am quite doubtful we'll be seeing FreeEarth.swf in Apple source code any time soon. Although I admit I have fantasies about the fallout that would occur if it ever came out that Apple had used Adobe's iPhone Packager to put this thing out for the iOS.

More likely Apple is interested in some patents or backend tech that Poly9 has built as Apple  further expand the contents of their walled-garden and segregate themselves from the rest of the web.

For a bit of additional reading Seb Lee-Delisle has a post about this as well, complete with a link in the comments to Mr Doob's javascript/canvas based 3D earth.